The Shortest Distance Between Two Points…

Maybe you have noticed the big problem in the newly re-developed area in Omaha's riverfront.

The problem is getting from here to there.

“Here" is the pedestrian bridge..

"There" is the "no-do" entertainment area.

The only way to get between the two areas is to take a mighty long walk.

A solution is in the works but it will cost some money.

The Bob Kerrey pedestrian bridge has become a favorite destination for those who want to stretch their legs a bit.

Brian Stoffers grew up in Omaha and now lives in South Dakota. He noticed that you almost have to work to actually get here.

"You just find your way into here sometimes,” he said. “I think people from out of town have a hard time finding their way in."

The bridge is somewhat isolated from the main traffic flow of the area.

That's why the city is considering an extension off the current bridge that would directly connect with north downtown.

The planned route from the pedestrian bridge would go over a small parking lot, riverfront drive, and the railroad tracks, along some more parking lots before connecting with 10th street.

As it sits now, there's no direct route to the bridge from 10th street,

It takes almost five minutes to walk from the bridge to a spot where pedestrians can safely cross the railroad tracks, behind the Century Link Center. And that's just one way. Imagine making that trip with a stroller and children.

“I don't want to walk from here all the way over there and have to walk all the way back to cross traffic and trains," April Reineman said.

That's why the extension is needed

By cutting straight through and lining up with Mike Fahey Street, planners believe the bridge extension creates a more cohesive area that's pedestrian friendly.

"I think it'd be great to have it extended over there,’” Jody Donsbach said. “It would help bring more people here."

“I think Omaha would definitely benefit from it," April said.

Tuesday, the city council could vote whether to approve funding for the design and to seek private funding.

The state also will weigh in on the project.


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